Tuesday, June 27, 2017

ARC Review: If Birds Fly Back by Carlie Sorosiak

Title: If Birds Fly Back 
Author: Carlie Sorosiak 
Publisher: Random House Books
Publication Date: June 27, 2017 (TODAY!) 
Format: ARC (Hardcover) 

Page Count: 448


A sparkling debut about love, family, and the mysteries of the universe.

Linny has been fascinated by disappearances, ever since her sister Grace ran away in the middle of the night without saying goodbye.

Sebastian can tell you how many galaxies there are, and knows how much plutonium weighs. But the one thing he can’t figure out is the identity of his birth father.

They’ve never met, but Linny and Sebastian have one thing in common: an obsession with famous novelist and filmmaker Alvaro Herrera, who went missing three years ago and has just reappeared. As they learn more about the mystery of Alvaro, Linny and Sebastian uncover the answers they’ve been searching for.

With humor and heart, debut author Carlie Sorosiak weaves a story of finding people who leave and loving those who stay, perfect for fans of Jandy Nelson and Emery Lord.(taken from goodreads.com)

"I tell you un secreto pequeno, nina. Only two things matter in life. 
How we love and how much we love." 

It's rare that I thoroughly enjoy a book as much as I did If Birds Fly Back. Smart, carefully crafted, and full of heart, this summer debut had me falling in love with Sorosiak's story and characters. 

AAt times, this novel reminded me of Paper Towns and Wherever Nina Lies, two other books that revolve around the disappearance of a spirited young woman. Although there are clear similarities, I was interested in Sorosiak's approach to the plot and her strong depiction of those left behind by people who run away. I was also intrigued by Sorosiak's decision to center much of the novel on an elderly man and his life in a nursing home, simply because it's not very common for young adult books to spend much time discussing problems of the old and the dying. 

Ugh, Sebastian and Linny's relationship was just so dang cute. Equal parts serious and giggle-inducing, their romance had me grinning throughout most of the novel. Pair their blossoming love with an interesting mystery or two and bam, you've got yourself a novel to pack with you on your next beach vacation. 

Like many young adult contemporaries, If Birds Fly Back is very much a classic coming of age novel. However, I was extremely impressed by Sorosiak's writing and ability to weave important themes about growing up into a story with so many different plot lines. We here from Linny, who has lost her sister, and Sebastian, who has never known his dad. They struggle with different issues for different reasons, and yet we witness both of them as they pick up the pieces and learn to move on in life. 

Overall, I was really impressed with this first novel by Sorosiak, and I'll definitely check out any other novels she may write in the future. Do yourself a favor and spend some time with Linny and Sebastian. Who knows? You might even walk away with a better understanding of your own wings.